Friday, May 30, 2008

RIP Xavier

We seem to be having a string of bad luck lately at Kmart - really bad luck.

A few weeks ago on Monday, Nando's mom died of Pancreatic Cancer.

Just before that, my friend Nick cut off the tip of his finger at work, and thankfully they were able to sow it back on.

And heck, even though Judy 98 can be mean sometimes (okay, a lot), I felt bad for her on Wednesday when her husband (I think, at least someone close to her) went into diabetic shock and she had to call the paramedics.

But yesterday may just be the saddest point in all of our lives.

I'm sure that I've talked about Latonya on here before. She's the manager of the supervisors at Kmart and without her the whole store would go under. After school, her two big kids always walk to Kmart and wait for her to get off so they can all walk home together. We've all gotten to know and love those sweet little boys, some of us even taking our breaks to go spend time with them and talk about Spiderman :)

Yesterday morning, however, all of our lives were radically changed forever.

Latonya called in sick so that she could take Xavier to the hospital because he wasn't feeling well at all. Between that and when they reached the hospital, Xavier's asthma attack caused his bronchial tubes to close up, forcing him to go through cyanosis and he stopped breathing all together. Despite all the doctors did, they were unable to revive him.

As devastated as we all are, it's hard to imagine our Mama Latonya going through all of this. Just last week she was so concerned about Nando and how he was handling his mom's death, so worried that he would be okay after losing someone so close to him. I will not pretend to know what she is going through right now, but I'm sure it's worse than death itself.

If any of you know Latonya, there is a condolences card set up at Kmart for people to sign, along with sign-up sheets with things to help out their family. I think the biggest thing right now is helping out with meals and snacks for her remaining three kids.

She's done so much for all of us, both at work and in our personal lives. I just hope that we are all able to show our love and support for her, and that will help her cope with this terrible tragedy.

It's so hard to think that I won't be able to see his cute little shining face again, that I won't get to see more of his drawings or his coat and backpack left at the service desk.

RIP Xavier

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Brewers

The game last night was amazing. Theron put me in charge of taking pictures, and needless to say there are a ton compared to last time. We also sat in a better spot (you know, one where we could actually see the field?). We did more touristy things this time then we did before - pictures of the stadium, the statues, all the home boys. Although, I'm sure Theron was a little irked to see how many of those pictures were of Ryan Braun stretching...

Oh, and I guess winning helped too.

Two of the guys from Brew Crew Ball came out - Steve and Jeff, who actually runs the blog. It was fun to feel a little more connected to the guys as my baseball knowledge is getting better.

And I felt like Theron's dad and I got along without as much awkwardness as there usually seems to be when we're together. I'm sure it'll get better the more that we spend time together, and the more I know about sports. I swear, sometimes it's like their speaking a completely different language, where I only know the important phrases, like "Where is the bathroom?"

But it really was a pleasant evening, and I can't wait to do it again sometime.

Theron gave me his high school class ring yesterday. I don't know why, but for some reason it made me really happy. Even while I was scrubbing the service desk perfectly clean all morning, I was happy. It is really pretty and fits perfectly.

Oh, and a note to Phenylketuronics - the new and "improved" version of Big Red has Phenylalanine in it, so try and buy up the last real packs while you can.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

I missed blogging about the day that we use to help remember people who have served our country! To my defense, my parents were out of town and Theron was over all weekend, and I had to work like all day Sunday, and all night yesterday.

I just want to take the time out to say that I am so proud of the people who serve(d) our country, and I hope that each and every one of them is safe, happy, and healthy. I have two uncles who served in Iraq, and an aunt who was also in the army. I don't know words to express how very proud of them I am, and how very lucky we all are (and grateful too) that they are all safe and sound. I don't know what I would have done had any of them gotten hurt or worse.

So Theron and I went to Chocolate Fest in Burlington on Friday night.It was a lot of fun. I went to my first real concert there. If you guys haven't heard of The Bucket Boys, you should look them up. They're like a two man version of stomp, with silly banter added. They were fun, but I really liked the other group that we went to go see. Todd and Emma Greene are a father/daughter musical duo. He has his own music studio, and a band aside from the stuff that he performs with Emma. They performed with acoustic guitars and an acoustic bass. The songs they performed were really fun songs, and they always added their own spin to it. It really made me want to start working more on my music career...

Theron's dad is covering the Brewers game again tonight. He invited Theron to go, so I get to go too! I'm excited, and it'll be fun to see his dad again.

My parents' car broke down on their way back from Missouri... they're still not home yet, but I know they were taking the car to a mechanic, so hopefully everything is fine.

I hope everyone had a nice, peaceful, and fun weekend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Genetic manipulation?

Basically, there is a deaf couple who is using invitro fertilization and wants the right to screen and/or genetically alter their child so that s/he turns out to be deaf like them. They do not see deafness as a disability, and think that choosing a hearing child over a deaf one is absurd and a huge discrimination.

I could see where they don't see deafness as a disability. Here's what I don't get though - don't they remember all the hard things that they've had to go through because of being deaf? The discriminations and misunderstandings and awkward dating? No doubt they, as parents, would handle their children better than their parents might have. But why not adopt? Why cause an otherwise normal child to miss out on things like music and hearing the words "I love you" from their future spouse? Don't they know that they child will end up resenting them for that?

I know that I've debated several times whether or not I should even have kids because of the pain and discrimination that I've gone through with my arthritis. More than likely, if I have a daughter she will have it too. I don't particularly see the arthritis as a disability per se, because I now have a handle on it. But I can't morally ask the doctor to make sure that my child has the same extra issues that I do. That is simply cruel and unusual punishment, especially for a little fetus who doesn't have a voice here. I know that when I do have children, I will know what they are going through and I will be able to help them and be there for them because I have gone through that. But I do sincerely hope that my children do not have this, that they can be at least closer to normal than I.

Aside from all of that though, isn't this bordering on Gattaca? Are we trying to genetically engineer our children into what we want them to be without even giving them a chance to choose? What if the doctor screws up and the child ends up being able to hear, but has a terrible life-altering disease as well? One that s/he will die early from? Suffer terribly? Do we really have the right to override that child's ability to have a great and wonderful, semi-normal life, just because we want a child to be like us?

I'm sure that the couple would see my ideas as thinking that deafness is a disability though.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hate him back, it works for me

I had a terrible day at work. The schedule was so screwed up, and we had all the newbies who can't run registers yet on... I felt terrible leaving Sam there alone, but I know that Lucas helped him out quite a bit throughout the night.

To add to my horror, Pete Wentz married Ashlee Simpson this weekend... Oh god... *shudders*

I couldn't get the Brewers game on my radio, because apparently the am part doesn't work or something. It wasn't televised and every site I went to for play by play action was blacked out. So I heard everything second hand until about the 7th inning. Bored out of my mind and needing to see someone else cynical about life, I was glad to see that there was a House marathon on.

The episode was pretty interesting and one that I hadn't seen yet. There was a sick nun who was sure that she was being tested by God. At one point House came to talk to her about all nuns being liars, trying to get everyone to believe in some unseen, supposedly all-powerful being, and that it's not the idea of God that he doesn't like but more the idea in "forcing" other people to "believe" in things with you. Mostly, he hates the believing part... Seems to be because that means you have to open up and trust something/one you can't even see. She then made the comment back to him (of course, I'm paraphrasing a bit) that you can't hate something that you don't believe in, even a little bit. That got me to thinking...

Most people assume that I'm upset with God, that everything I've been through in my life has made me bitter and closed my heart, or whatever. But that's not the case.

Having been around and helped raise a lot of kids, I know that when s/he is lonely, a child will make up people so that they feel connected, important. I don't want to compare the majority of the world to children, but it seems to me more likely that our ancestors were a product of evolution and wanted a way to explain the things around them, wanted to feel connected to and a part of something bigger than themselves.

Q. So, the questions are going to start flying in... Why be a religious studies major if you don't believe in God? If you think the rest of us are delusional?

A. First off, I don't think you're delusional or crazy. You're just the product of thousands of years of believing in something that your families passed on to you, that you accepted as truth. Or, you felt alone in your own way and found a theism that matched what your core beliefs were and are.

Anyways, to answer the question, it's a form of sociology that is more personal than most sociologists are able to get in their studies. There is just so much to study when we look at the world around us, the only way to do it is to break it down into smaller chunks. Religion just happens to be fascinating to me, considering my ideas expressed above. It's fun, for me, to see and learn about the different ways that people interpreted events. That would also be part of why I'm majoring in history as well.

Q. So why do you buy into Buddhism?

A. Short answer? Because it doesn't deal with God at all. It just doesn't feel the need to address something that further back was seen as a philosophical idea, not a religious one. Plus, it's about bettering oneself, not getting redemption through appeasing someone that controls everything.

If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask and I'll post my answers in the next entry.

I just need to vent

So work has been a total mess lately. It has nothing to do with carts or my employees being dumb or anything, but our HR person apparently isn't being able to keep a schedule straight.

She got this brilliant idea to print off a copy of the weekly schedule and have it up at the service desk. However, that one has been wrong pretty much all weekend... and so has the one in the back. But the daily one supposedly has who needs to be there right on. Today, for example, I'm on the schedule for the week (well, both of them) for the garden shop from 12-7. I've never worked back there, but okay, fine, I'll struggle through it I guess. Terry will be there to show me for a bit at the least. BUT on the daily schedule, I was supposed to be at the service desk from 8-230, with Nando there from 2-10. Originally though, Nando was working 8-4, with Latanya working 4-10.

I'm so confused right now, it's not even funny. Bob's pissed off majorly too. Like really, we can't call people once we change their schedules? Or we can't keep the schedule the same? What the fuck?

If they can't figure out how to take care of a schedule right, I'm just gonna find another job. I am so tired of this.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ryan Braun

He's played great in the past few days, hitting four home runs in just two games. (I missed last night's game, so I'm sure he probably hit a run or two, but alas I missed it and am a little lazy today).He even woke up in time to do his stint on the radio this morning, after sleeping in for two weeks in a row. Supposedly his stats are better after being on the show, which makes me wonder how well he'll do today.

This morning, Doug Melvin announced that the club has signed Braun for an eight year deal (starting late May of this year, per his initial appearance last May) for $45 million. It's the most expensive deal in MLB history (for a player that has been in the majors for fewer than three years - thank you Theron :-P ) and that the club's had since signing Suppan for $42 million. But he's not gonna be selfish and keep all that money for himself. He's got the club donating a couple thousand out of his contract each year to charity, and he'll be helping out the Boy and Girls club as well.

Braun has talked about how much he loves Milwaukee, and sees great potential in the team.

For the year, he already has nine home runs, tying Hall for first place in the club. His batting average is .287, with a jump to something like .417 when he's made a radio appearance that day. He's got an on-base percentage of .318 and a slugging percentage of .549 and total bases at 90 for the season. For more on his stats, go here.

Go Brewers!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Carroll University?

Well, it's official - Carroll College becomes Carroll University on July 1st, 2008.

I have mixed feelings about this.

I like it because it'll be easier for people to discern our school from the one in Montana or wherever it is.

But I dislike it for a multitude of reasons.

Theron just graduated from Carroll COLLEGE. Despite going to the same school, I will not graduate from Carroll College but Carroll university. Sure, he can get a diploma printed with "University" on it, but I doubt he'll want to. I would rather graduate with "College" on my diploma. I wonder if they'd do that for those of us who dislike the name change. I doubt it, but oh well.

On top of that, I own tons of Carroll College stuff - shorts, sweatshirts, lanyards, etc. I'm sure someday they'll become some sort of collector's item and it'll be nice to still wear them and remember the "good old days." But alas, I'd feel weird wearing all that to school now. So what, I'm gonna have to buy new copies of everything? Poo on that.

I just sent the following to Carroll via the feedback form. If anyone else has the same feeling about the school, please feel free to copy and paste, but alter to match your situation:

"I think that for those of us currently enrolled in the college, it'd be nice to have the option to choose whether our diploma will say college or university. Incoming freshman should be the last class for whom that'll be an option. Theron just graduated along with a whole mess of my friends, and I still have two years left. My grandpa graduated from Carroll College too. It saddens me to think that I won't be graduating with the same name on my diploma. So, in addition to allowing the alumni to get "university" printed on their diplomas, it'd be nice to let us have the option to choose. I know that I would be far less upset about the name change if that was the case."

I don't think that's too much to ask, right? They apparently read every comment sent, so please leave feedback.

If you have any questions about the name change, click here and go to the FAQs site.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

School's Out for Summer

So nice! Although I know that I'll miss it a bunch over the summer.

I spent this whole past week with Theron, soaking up the sun, playing catch, and playing this super awesome game.It was really nice to have off of work too. Needless to say though, I really haven't been on the computer since Saturday. It was really weird to drive to Carroll tonight and see how very empty it was. I'm sure it felt emptier knowing that Theron was home. Oh well, it'll be busy this weekend at least.

I've been debating what to holler when Theron is up getting his diploma on Sunday, but all I can think of is "Whoo!" It's lame, I know, but I'll be next to his parents, so I have to keep it a little closer to PG-13 than I'd like. Maybe "I love you!"? I dunno, that seems a little weird. Hmph.

Even though I asked Susan for this weekend off A MONTH AGO, she scheduled me. I talked to the store manager about it today though and she understands how important it is for me to be there for Theron. She's not super happy about it, but at least she is okay with me not being there and still having a job next week.

I'm a little upset that the Brewers keep losing. I'm sure that they'll be able to work themselves out of the slump at some point, but I'm really hoping that being back at home tomorrow helps. The schedule they've been on lately is pretty tough, so it's a little understandable.

I'll post more next week, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the fun links I have on my site. The comics are especially silly and enjoyable.

It is a really weird feeling to be home without Theron here after having him around for like five days. *sigh* Now to see how well I will sleep...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What Religion am I?

I decided to explore the different quizzes claiming to find my religion today, kind of test them out.

The first site that I visited was one that I've been to before, for fun. I decided to take it again, to see if my beliefs had changed, which of course they haven't at all in a few months. Here's the list I got from there (to learn more about the religions, click on the titles):
1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (87%)
3. Theravada Buddhism (84%)
4. Mahayana Buddhism (81%)
5. Liberal Quakers (81%)
6. New Age (79%)
7. Secular Humanism (76%)
8. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (67%)
9. Taoism (61%)
10. Reform Judaism (53%)
11. New Thought (53%)
12. Scientology (50%)
13. Hinduism (49%)
14. Nontheist (48%)
15. Orthodox Quaker (44%)
The test gives 27 answers, but I feel it better to limit it. Jehovah's Witness was at the bottom of my list though, right below Islam and Roman Catholic. Apparently my free-spirited nature lends itself to being extremely open-minded to all beliefs (see number 1) and worshiping Mother Earth (see number 2). The Secular Humanism religion actually intrigues me a bit. It's not something that I heard of before taking this test, but something that I would support.

Another site I visited was a little less scientific and much more limited in religions. I found it on Quizilla, so I'm sure it's not accurate at all, but at least interesting to look at. I'm sorry, I didn't think about this when I was grabbing the code for the post, but you're gonna have to highlight the text below the picture to see it. Sorry! [EDIT: It should show up without highlighting now!]

What religion suits you?

Shintoism: Shintoism is a religion based in Japan and the Japanese culture. It's beliefs center mainly around the kami or the spirits. They believe in many of these spirits, and they also believe in worshiping and holding rituals and festivals for these spirits which they hold with honor and respect. Followers of Shintoism hold loyalty and honor in high esteem.
Take this quiz!

I couldn't get rid of the annoying Quizilla advertising, but alas I tried. [EDIT: It should be gone now!] I think it's interesting to note that I attend a Japanese Immersion school for kindergarten and part of first grade, and have really loved most everything Japanese since then. In my Asian Religions class last semester, it was very easy for me to grasp the idea of Shintoism because of my background with Japan and the parallels that I saw between worshiping one's ancestors and some of the crazy things I've seen in my extended family. I do believe also in spirits and ghosts, so it would make sense that this might be an answer for me.

I enjoyed this next quiz, When picking answers, you have the choice between "NO WAY!!!," neutral, and "TOTALLY!!!" It doesn't include a lot of religions, but enough of a variety to merit my posting.

Religion... What am I?
created with
You scored as Buddhist

You are Buddhist
Not knowing a Buddhist i am unable to comment...


sorry, but you must be way cool :-P













I thought it was interesting that the person was creating comments based on the people around him/her that s/he knew. From a scholarly standpoint, that doesn't seem very smart, but obviously these quiz makers aren't doing it from a scholarly standpoint.

The other quizzes that I took only had a few results, one just listing various forms of Christianity and Satanism/Paganism. I think that the youth of today needs to be exposed to more than just the severe polar opposites like that, but to other fun religions like those from the Far East. Obviously I'm gonna show some bias about that, being a religion major, but I really think that being exposed to everything is a great idea. People in the world that we now live in need to know about all kinds of people, not just the perceived good and bad. The times that I've mentioned Buddhism to the high schoolers at work, they get this weird vision of me not eating and being some weird crazy person who likes to eat bugs and stuff. Once I explain it to them, they actually get interested in Buddhism, and start thinking that some parts of it have a really good point.

I know that many parents would freak over the idea of mandatory religious education, but I think that it's an important part of society. If we could educate everybody about religion, just like we need to continue to strive to do with music, then I think that the world will be a little more understanding of other people, which will lead to more peace.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What is the World Coming to?

It seems like all we're hearing about lately, with exception of the occasional heroism, is bad news.
Gas keeps going up. The national average has gone up more than thirty cents in the past month, and yet many companies including ExxonMobil are reporting record profits. This company in particular has also refused to explore alternative fuels, which is getting them sued by late founder John D. Rockefeller's heirs. Hopefully some good comes of it. Because of gas though, many people are trying to sell family heirlooms that are priceless to these families, but aren't fetching high prices online. We all need the extra money for gas. Whenever most people get their stimulus check, it should be a little better, but in the meantime, our economy sucks.

And then there's the Syncrude Canada Ltd. company, whose dumping of toxic waste is killing off poor duckies. Not only was it caused by the company dumping toxic waste into the pond nearby and not attempting to keep ducks away from it, but the company didn't report it at all. Only five out of 500 of the ducks survived, when normally only about two dozen die.

There have been like 344 earthquakes in Reno in the past WEEK?!?!? Most of them are small aftershocks, but the most recent quake was a 4.7, which wasn't strong enough to demolish houses, but definitely enough to shake everything up a lot. Store owners had to clean up hundreds of bottles of wine and other groceries.

And apparently Japan has one of the highest suicide rates? I guess there has been a surge in suicide websites, with people posting - similar to craigslist personals - "Let's die together," "Anyone else ready to die?" and the ever so popular "Email me if serious." The latest craze is to mix laundry detergent and cleaning solutions, creating hydrogen sulfide gas. Being a former chem major, I can tell you first hand that this stuff smells about ten times worse than running over a skunk. Why in the world anyone would want to smell that during their last precious moments on Earth, even if they are trying to kill themselves, is completely beyond me. On top of that, many of these people live in apartment buildings. These people want to die 'honorably' but they're taking out their neighbors too, or at least causing terrible brain damage due to suffocation and the chemicals themselves. Seriously, there are much better and 'honorable' ways to get rid of yourself, so maybe invest in those? Kthxbai.

Josef Fritzl just scares the crap out of me. How can someone keep their own daughter locked in the cellar and rape her repeatedly for 24 years and father seven children with her? And how in the hell did the mother NOT know this was going on? What, she didn't go down in to the cellar for 24 years? Are you shitting me? I don't go into my basement all that much, but seriously, 24 years? I'd want to know what was down there, especially since it seems like he spent most of his time down there anyhow. I don't care if my husband told me I wasn't allowed to go down there. Actually, that would probably make me want to look more. And she just believed that her crazy 'deadbeat' daughter would come back and drop these three kids on their doorstep? And none of them knew where their family was? I'm thinking that there's more to be said about this family than meets the eye. I think it's interesting to note though that one of the children died - probably because s/he needed medical attention - but when 19 year old Kerstin starts having convulsions, Fritzl decides she should go to the hospital.

Seriously, what is the world coming to? Is the capitalist mindset so embedded into our souls that we can't even be human anymore? Do we even remember how to help people out? I know I'm a liberal free-spirited hippie chick, but really people, get on the ball.

If you're Buddhist, there are a myriad of great quotes from all of the wonderful teachers we've had in the past, especially Siddartha Gautama: "The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” Don't we all know that we must help others? "Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.” "Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” We have been charged to help others, and it happened around 2500 years ago. This is not a new concept at all.

I don't believe in God, but if you do, you should probably pay more attention to this section.

I apologize if you're Jewish, because I haven't studied the Torah or the Tanakh very closely, so I hope you don't feel too left out.

If you're Christian, you know about Jesus and all the things that he said to do, like "love thy neighbor" and "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.” Oh and surely every kid who went to Kindergarten knows the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

If you're Muslim, you know about similar quotes from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Not only do you agree with most of Jesus' sayings, but you have some parallel sayings of your own: "Do not say, that if the people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if the people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determine that if people do you good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them," and one of my favorites to compare, "Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.” Or one especially nice for today's world to see - "Especially if you are well-to-do, see that no one goes hungry or naked.” And just one more for good measure: "Shall I not inform you of a better act than fasting, alms, and prayers? Making peace between one another: enmity and malice tear up heavenly rewards by the roots.”

So why not live like the good [insert your religion here] and help other people out? A smile counts, because that becomes infectious.